Scilly’s Council Criticised For Ignoring Information Requests

The Town Hall

The Town Hall

The Council of the Isles of Scilly is continuing to ignore some freedom of information queries. And they’ve been issued with their second notice in six months warning that they have breached the Freedom of Information Act.

The Council has refused to explain who gave authority for an official apology to be made in a meeting last May. At the time members were unclear who had authorised the public apology for comments that had allegedly upset an employee during a debate the previous July.

It later emerged that the upset staff member was offered a sum believed to be £500, after they went to a mainland employment tribunal.

The Council refused to say who had signed off the statement, saying it was confidential.

The Information Commissioner has criticised their response for not properly explaining why the information couldn’t be released and for failing to provide an internal review of that decision.

They told the Council that it must state whether it holds the information and either release it or issue a valid refusal notice. Failure to comply could find the council in contempt of court.

Last November, the Council was also criticised for the way it handled a request for information over legal costs it had incurred.

We asked the Council two weeks ago about whether they will be reviewing their procedures for handling FOI requests and whether staff were adequately trained in how to respond. We also asked who is responsible for ensuring they comply with the FOI Act.

Their press office conformed they have received our email but the Council has chosen not to respond.

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